Johann Bessler And His Perpetual Motion Machine

Johann Bessler was born in Zittau, Germany, in 1680. He died in 1745.

His claim to fame is that, in the 1712, he built a remarkable machine — called the Bessler Wheel — which he said was a machine of self-perpetuated motion; by 1717, “he’d convinced thousands of people, from the ordinary to the most prominent, that he had indeed discovered the secret of a self-sustaining mechanism” (source).

The Bessler Wheel was tested repeatedly and rigorously, and it passed every test laid to it.

For example:

It was made to do heavy work for long periods, and in an official test it ran continuously for 54 days. The internal design of the machine was always closely guarded by its inventor. Plagued by paranoia and a nasty temper and with no patent laws to protect him Bessler destroyed the machines in a fit of anger and took his secret to the grave. The true motive power behind Bessler’s demonstrations, and the energy source which moved the wheel’s internal weights still remain unexplained. Obviously a machine like this violates the law of conservation of energy, which states that energy can never be created or destroyed but it should then be asked how did Bessler fool so many people for so many years? (Ibid)

In 1717, Bessler himself said the following:

The internal structure of the machine is of a nature according to the laws of mechanical perpetual motion, so arranged that certain disposed weights, once in rotation, gain force from their own swinging, and must continue this movement as long as their structure does not lose its position and arrangement.

And one final thing to consider about this subject:

If by “Perpetual Motion Machine” we mean a device that taps into a natural motion and does work indefinitely without human or animal assistance, the problem is not only solvable but has already been solved in a variety of ways:

* Cox Clock — a clock that runs forever on barometric pressure.

* Atmos Clock — a clock that runs forever on small changes in temperature.

* Tidal Power Generator — harnessing the innate gravitational power of celestial bodies.

* Geothermal Power Generator — tapping the energy released when gravity condenses matter.

* Nuclear Breeder Reactor — a machine that produces more fuel than it consumes.

Was Bessler’s machine, like these, somehow attached to the very wheelwork of nature? The mathematician Jean Bernoulli wrote:

“…any motion which exists in nature can be used to support a perpetual motion. In these instances such machines cannot be regarded as purely artificial perpetual motion, but rather as a combined perpetual motion because their motion is assisted by nature. I am convinced that Bessler’s Wheel is of this type.”



  • Greg

    March 2, 2010

    History is full of con-men like Bessler (aka Orffyre) attempting to defraud their investors and customers with promises of perpetual motion.

    I do not think the collective “we” define perpetual motion in such a way. The common accepted definition is:

    “Perpetual Motion – The hypothetical continuous operation of an isolated mechanical device or other closed system without a sustaining energy source.”

    None of the five examples meet the “Closed System” criteria of the common definition.

  • Ray

    March 3, 2010

    Fair enough, Greg, fair enough. Although I don’t know that the definition is quite so universal, particularly among scientists.

  • Redmond

    March 3, 2010

    whatever happened to these guys?

    Orbo? I gotta go through their site, haven’t in a while

  • Nneba

    October 26, 2010

    Greg you will soon stand corrected,

    And others who share your opinion will be silenced, Bessler was a good man, and a genius. His accomplishments were oppressed by people like Sir Newton who wanted to protect their acheivements. In the near future, Newton will be labeled the fraud, and the “first law” will be re considered.


  • Greg

    October 26, 2010


    Soon to be corrected aye? Almost 300 years wasn’t enough to uncover the mysterious secrets of Bessler Wheel? You could have 3,000 years and still not prove Bessler’s claim. Perpetual motion in a closed system is impossible.

    Bessler was a fraud and Issac Newton still remains the genius. It is not Newton’s first law of motion that the Bessler Wheel violates it is the second law of thermodynamics that renders Bessler’s claim untenable.

  • greg king

    November 6, 2010

    when one pound can lift ball falling three balls my mind there is a way this can be achieved .I’d call it the hammer effect.The falling begins on up hill side and rolls across gaining speed and hitting side of wheel always returning to out side position.divide a circle into three .There the three balls will roll. each in its own oval type circle constantly falling and returning only to fall again creating force to turn the wheel. god bless.

  • Greg

    November 8, 2010

    Mr. King, the friction in the wheel will eventually bring it to a complete stop. There is no overcoming this loss of energy even with the best bearings in the world. Once the wheel slows down too much there will not be enough momentum to bring the next ball around to fall.

    You may build such a wheel to spin for 54 days but that is nowhere near perpetual (i.e. infinity). Build one that spins for 365 days and you might raise some eyebrows.

  • greg king

    November 9, 2010

    hi greg.
    thanks for the reply.
    have you seen the karra green gravity wheel
    it seems that theirs more than one way to run on gravity

  • Greg

    November 9, 2010

    Mr. King,

    The Karra gravity wheel is an interesting machine. Judging by their website I remain skeptical. Their latest news is 2.5 years old referring to a both at Wirec in March 2008. If a machine can produce free energy 24 hours a day why do you suppose they isn’t more in the press? Or claims that they’ve sold x thousands of machines across the world? Oh right, it is a scam.

    If you’re sold on this machine then I suggest you invest every dime you have. If what they claim is true, 2+ year run time, at $0.00/kwh you would be a millionaire in a few short months.

  • greg king

    November 9, 2010

    this message is for all you free thinkers out there.
    its pretty obvious that the bessler wheel worked and so do a hell of a lot of other devices work ,so the question is not.[is it real or not].the question should be. [how do they work] We should be embracing this technology with open arms, The suppression is great and covers every aspect of human existence .and the energy question is just one of them.but slowly humanity is waking up.
    and there’s so much to discover. so my challenge to you all is build a gravity wheel after all bessler did it 300 years ago .you can do it too.
    gods speed.

  • rwashburn

    March 16, 2011

    It is dogma and the idiocy of The band wagon effect that allows an empirical to exclude what is possible..In Orwellian fashion, Greg: March 2nd. 2010 @ 0840 hrs gives a definition that is true, but equally detracts from what is exceptable as a Perpetual Motion Machine. By citing immutable laws, corrupted by less than empirical conclusions the scientific community has shamed themselves.

  • Dale

    March 17, 2011

    You forgot this example: public employee unions elect politicians who give union members sweet deals at taxpayer expense, so unions can give more to elect politicians that give them sweeter deals at taxpayer expense, ad nauseum.

  • wind

    April 3, 2011

    funny Dale.

    I’ve concluded that Bessler was probably a clever fraud, not obvious. My guess is that he used highly compressed springs inside of what otherwise appeared to be cylindrical weights. Upon impact a ratcheting release would exert small amounts of the stored energy into the system. That was one of his show pieces. Another was simply run by an accomplice. As soon as skeptics were on to him he adjusted his show.

  • Ray

    April 4, 2011

    Your comment was like a cool breeze, wind.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Dale

    April 4, 2011

    Cool breeze?
    “Upon impact a ratcheting release would exert small amounts of the stored energy into the system.” Sounds like my dad’s antique pocket watch.
    Does the name suggest winding rather than moving air?
    Great explanation, either way.

  • Michael

    April 28, 2011

    I am not positive, but it doesent sound like anyone of the above posters have really studdied Bessler in depth. On and off I have gathered as much data about the man since 2006 as I could, And I find it hard to believe he could have fooled all those people! Some very intelligent people visited him and his wheel, Libneitz, s Gravsande, Wolf, And they all came away convinced he had the real deal!

  • BILL.

    August 25, 2014

    I would like to remind you all, that the person who tells you that perpetual motion (gravity wheel,
    or otherwise), is impossible, must have access to a time machine, to have travelled to the end of
    time, to have this information —————— I don’t think so, do you?
    You can have an OPINION, but that does not make it a fact. Try to think ‘for yourselves’, not
    what you’ve been taught, after all, these ‘teachers’ may be wrong.

  • Micky

    September 24, 2014

    So Bill…

    if I were to listen to you would you be that teacher and I no longer able to think for myself ?

  • Ray

    September 28, 2014

    No answer, eh, Micky?

    Bill, I believe, was a drive-by commenter.

  • baba

    May 5, 2015

    Bessler was and is a genius, another replica of his machine is oncoming

  • Ken

    August 28, 2019

    Those interested in how Bessler produced his “self-moving” wheels may find this video, based on a working computer simulation, to be of interest:

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